Question Everything: Get Stronger With a Scientist’s Mind

What is instinctive elaboration?

The word “explanation” comes from the Latin ex + lexare, which means to explain or tell. Explanations are used to make sense out of things, so they have a purpose. Explanations are often based on logic and reason. They may not always be correct, but they do serve their purpose well enough.

Explanations are useful because they allow us to understand something without having to memorize facts or go through tedious explanations. However, they’re not perfect.

Sometimes explanations don’t give complete answers and sometimes they lead to incorrect conclusions. There are many ways of explaining things, some better than others.

For example, if I told you that there was a blue cat in my room with me right now, would you believe me?

Of course not!

So why would you trust an explanation that doesn’t provide complete answers?

An explanation is only as good as its completeness. If it contains false statements, then it isn’t really an explanation at all. An example of such a statement might be “I saw a man wearing glasses.” That statement could mean one of two things: (1) I saw someone wearing glasses, or (2) I didn’t see anyone wearing glasses. Either way, it’s incomplete and therefore useless.

The reason why explanations are so important is because they can be used to solve factual problems. As you’ve probably noticed, there are quite a few people in this world who love to provide explanations for everything under the sun.

However, these explanations are always tainted by our own subjectivity. If you don’t believe me, just think about all of the conspiracy theories that abound in this crazy world of ours.

As tricky as explanations can be, we still need them. They make life a whole lot easier to deal with.

In many cases, explanations can be used to predict future events.

When should I explain?

When should you use an explanation? What sorts of things are best explained? When shouldn’t you explain? What sorts of things shouldn’t be explained? Other than being incomplete, why are explanations inherently bad?

In order for a good explanation to occur, 3 things must be present: precision, clarity and completeness.

When you make a statement, you should provide enough information for your audience to understand it. If you don’t provide enough information, then there is a chance that your explanation may be incomplete.

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Of course, if you provide too much information, then your explanation may become needlessly confusing. Clarity is the ability of an explanation to make itself understood by an audience without the need of additional explanation.

Hopefully, you can see that most explanations will fall short of these standards. But don’t worry, this is all part of the learning process.

In time, you’ll learn how to create explanations that are both precise and complete.

Interconnectivity

Everything in the world is connected somehow. The forces of nature influence each other, events cause one another and objects affect each other.

These relationships are called interconnectivity.

There are many different types of interconnectivity. One of the most important types is cause and effect.

In order for something to occur, something else must usually cause it. For example, if you plant a seed in the ground, it will typically grow into a plant. Another type of interconnectivity is feedback. This happens when something acts upon itself in a loop. For example, a microphone causes an amplifier to make a speaker cone move outward, which in turn moves the microphone capsule inward, which in turn moves the amplifier-speaker system, which in turn causes the microphone to move outward again. This process continues forever and is called a feedback loop.

There are many more types of interconnectivity such as interdependence, mechanics and politics. It can get very complicated at times.

As you already know, everything in the world is made up of smaller things. These smaller components are called elements.

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In order to properly explain something, you’ll need to identify its elements and describe how these elements interconnect with each other. Let’s take a look at this chair for example.

Elements can be divided into two types: physical and abstract. Physical elements have a concrete form such as a tree, a cloud, a person, an atom or a molecule.

Abstract elements lack a concrete form and include concepts, ideas, emotions and thoughts. While physical elements can be seen and touched, abstract elements cannot be seen or touched.

Let’s examine this concept a little more closely. Take the element of love for example.

Love can’t be seen or touched, therefore it is an abstract element. One can’t look at two people and see the element of love between them, but one can see that they are both there. Also, while the feeling of love may fade over time, the element of love remains. This is because love can’t be destroyed, it can only change form. You must also remember that abstract elements can have an effect on physical elements and physical elements can have an effect on abstract elements.

There are many different types of elements in this world and each one is bound by different rules. Let’s take a look at some of these elements and how they interact with each other.

Types of Interconnectivity

Now that we’ve explored the basic concepts of elements and interconnectivity a little more, it’s time to move on to some real examples. We’ll start small and work our way up from there.

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Driving and Car Sickness

You’re on your way home from work and you’ve been looking forward to this trip all day. You’ve got your favorite CD playing on the stereo, you’re quietly singing along and you’ve got the car heater on to keep you nice and toasty.

Suddenly, as you’re changing gears, you feel a little queasy. You look out the window to see that you’re passing a big truck and it suddenly hits you: Car Sickness! This is where your body gets confused by the constant movement of the car and your inner ear starts sending faulty signals to your brain.

While some people claim that car sickness can be avoided by sitting in the back seat or by closing your eyes, these are all myths. It is true that this condition is more prominent in the back seat and that closing your eyes will make the problem worse, but the cause is actually related to a conflict between what your eyes see and what your inner ear feels.

The only way to avoid car sickness altogether is to not drive or to get out of the car!

Let’s look at the factors involved in this condition and how they connect. Sitting in the back seat can make you car sick because you are farther from the road and the wheels are lower, so the relationship between what your eyes see and what your inner ear feels is off.

Also, this sitting position makes you more likely to be bumped around in the case of sudden stops or turns. On the other hand, closing your eyes will make you more susceptible because your eyes are sending incorrect signals to your brain.

If you have ever driven a riding lawn mower you may have found that you did not feel any queasiness at all. This is because a riding lawn mower sways from side to side as it cuts the grass, making it much harder to control and giving a much more extreme experience.

So there you have it: sitting in the back seat, closing your eyes and driving a riding lawn mower are all factors that contribute to Car Sickness.

Explosions and Fire

If there is one thing that is synonymous with action movies, it’s explosions. While movies aren’t always the best medium for teaching science, they can still teach us a lot about elements and how they interact.

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Let’s look at some of the science behind explosions and fire.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This means that when an object is ignited, the oxygen in the air that feeds the fire is pushed outwards.

With this in mind, its easy to see how explosions happen. Let’s look at some examples:

Chemical explosions are caused by a buildup of gasses in a confined area which are then ignited. The most common example of this is a car engine.

Oil refineries and chemical plants often have safety features in place to prevent major explosions like the ones seen in movies, such as space-age plastic walls that contain potential explosions. These walls are designed to rupture under enough pressure so that they vent the gas without causing an explosion.

Gunpowder explosions work on a similar principal to car engines. Gunpowder is made up of charcoal, sulfur and potassium nitrate.

These chemicals react to create a buildup of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen. All of these are gasses, so when they build up in a closed area they have to go somewhere: outwards! Gunshots are often accompanied by a loud noise and bright flash as the gases explode out of the barrel of the gun at a very fast speed and displaces all of the surrounding air.

Gasoline ignites much easier than gunpowder because it already contains both an oxidizer(nitrogen) and a fuel(hydrocarbon), so there is less that needs to be combined inside the combustion chamber.

Gasoline and gunpowder have different combustion properties, but both are flammable. That means that they need a chemical or element that will ignite into a flame to cause an explosion.

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This is called an oxidizer, and oxygen usually works best for this.

Explosions come in many shapes and sizes. They can be extremely hot and fast or slow and mild depending on what is burning and how much there is to burn.

Proper safety measures must always be taken when working with this sort of thing.

So now you know how explosions happen and the science behind them. Please use this information for good and not evil!

The sun is a pretty amazing thing. It releases tons of energy and heat, yet we still haven’t figured out a way to harness it yet.

Soon we will though, and when we do, we’ll have free power for our cars, homes and more!

Sources & references used in this article:

Speaking minds: Interviews with twenty eminent cognitive scientists by G Lakoff – 2008 – Penguin

Science in action: How to follow scientists and engineers through society by P Baumgartner, S Payr – 2014 – books.google.com

Norms and counter-norms in a select group of the Apollo moon scientists: A case study of the ambivalence of scientists by PB Medawar – 2008 – Basic Books

The competitive world of the pure scientist by RP Feynman – 2009 – Hachette UK